I’ll be honest, having a house fire isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
At first you’re all “Whoo Hoo! I’m alive!” and nothing can get you down. You are clear on what matters and a house full of stuff doesn’t make the list. You’re not crazy or anything, YOU aren’t in denial. You just know what can be replaced: stuff, and what cannot: your family, so you’re happy.
But then you realize that you only have four pairs of underwear (1. you were wearing as you evacuated your burning home, 2-4 your sister purchased in a massive emergency shop at Target the same day but are not, alas, your preferred style) and you remember that laundry was never your strong suit back when you had your own home and about 30 pairs of underpants and you weren’t fire-addled.* And it occurs to you that this is what it’s like walking a tightrope without a net so you make getting more unmentionables your life work when you aren’t helping your children cope.
Unfortunately your kids really bug you. They are traumatized and CLEAR that a house fire is not a bag of giggles, so they’re needy. But you understand (because you’re a really good parent), so you listen and hold and talk and play, whatever the child needs.
Regrettably underpants buying gets shifted to the back burner and this is about all you do, other than meet with insurance people and try to get dressed every day. You find yourself, wandering around your room – and you are no stranger to a bit of wandering and a spot of disorder – but this is the limit; it takes you two hours just to get out of the house.
And then you remember that you HAVE to buy more underwear!
*The form of brain damage that Paul and I seem to have incurred. He’s dazed, which I was before the fire, but back then I had an extensive vocabulary. Now, if I had a dollar for every time I have said, “What’s the word, I’m looking for?” we could forget about the insurance and start rebuilding now.